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Way Stations In Space


Published 1961


Introduction to the basic scientific principles of using a manned space platform in helping explore the universe.


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Production Company United World Films, Inc
Audio/Visual sound, color

Reviews

Reviewer: joeyneutrino - - April 3, 2010
Subject: Somewhat behind its own times.
Among the other interesting mistakes, it's curious that the problem of re-entry is described as an unsolved problem. This film is dated 1961, yet by that time the broad design of the Mercury spacecraft was already a done-deal, with suborbital and orbital flights under its belt that very same year. On top of all that, Yuri Gagarin made his one orbit flight with re-entry that year. Even more embarrassing is that the German V-2 rockets had been surviving suborbital re-entry way back in the second world war. Heat transfer was a practical engineering problem and getting a ship down from orbit wasn't a big mystery.
Reviewer: ridetheory - - April 22, 2008
Subject: Wait a minute...
...isn't that the same living room from "A Visit With Santa"?
Reviewer: Marshall Eubanks - - May 13, 2007
Subject: Way Stations in Space
Pretty cool movie, but the physics is very bad. It is obvious that no real scientist reviewed the script.

The two worse errors : rocket planes (they showed an X-15) were carried up in a plane to escape (much of) the drag of the Earth's atmosphere, not the Earth's gravity and the gravitational acceleration of a space station is still directed towards the center of the Earth, etc. - the direction is not changed by motion.

But the engineering is pretty correct for 1961. This movie pretty much shows how NASA planned to get to the Moon before Kennedy announced the goal of doing it during the 1960's. Since 9 years wasn''t enough time to build all of these pieces, we decided to go straight to the Moon with Apollo, and the space station and shuttle plans were shelved. It is interesting to think what would have happened if he hadn't said "within this decade"; we might have had space stations in the mid-1960's and a space shuttle by 1970 or so.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - January 26, 2006
Subject: What are you doing¡¦ Daaaaave¡¦
Space Waystations is great! It¡¯s totally the type of space race film you would see in the late 50¡¯s / early 60¡¯s to teach people what to expect in space in the next decade or so. We start out with the space station, which looks remarkably like Kubrick¡¯s version in 2001. The film goes on and on about how man can build this and it¡¯s upkeep and all that. Of course, nothing like that has remotely come close to that vision. Oh sure, we have space stations in space, but nothing like that white collussus. Then the film talks about going to the moon, and quite accurately explains how man could land on the moon. I was quite intrigued about the whole gravity thing and how tricky it was to land something on something with a lot less gravity then earth. It talks about of course, the colonies they were also going to build which hasn¡¯t happened yet either. Sheesh people! Get WITH it, ahright?
Reviewer: left wing films - - December 2, 2005
Subject: Pleasure for your eyes
you dont need to be a science geek to freak out with this images
the film is viewing pleasure as we embrace our eyes from begin to end into this space lounge travel
I ll rate it 5stars
totally worth the download
Reviewer: Wilford B. Wolf - - July 28, 2005
Subject: Mars Needs Women
Incredible film aimed at 4th-6th graders that covers the possiblities of space stations. The space race was in high gear in 1961, and so was likely a hot topic of discussion in the schools.

The film starts off with a curious hold over from the 1950s science films; two young children ask (via an all knowing narrator) their uncle, a rocket scientist, about rockets. This leads into a discussion on how rockets work and why they need to be in stages, first using the example of an X-15 rocket plane carried by a B-52.

From there, the design and building of a space station are discussed, primarily in the context of using it as a means to go further into space using animations and models. This was the concept used in the film 2001: A Space Oddessy, and many of the ideas from the Kubrick film are first articulated in this film. The space station is mainly seen as a stopping off point for further destinations. It features a circular design to try to simulate gravity via centripetal force. The interiors are white and anaseptic. It also talks about the problems of landing which the narrator states "haven't been solved yet."

From there, the movie talks about landing on the moon and creating a base there. While many of the issues discussed did come to pass during the real moon landing, there is something oddly 1950s sci-fi about the design of the rocket that lands. This is despite real rockets, such as the Titan (shown briefly at the end of the film) that were existance at the time. There was also mention of using the moon as a base to launch missions further into space, namely Mars. It does hold out that other planets might exist, but they are too far away using the known rocket technology of the time.

At the end, the narrator sums up the key points again, repeating many of the main points, but given the complex nature for such a young age group, this is not surprising. Overall, this is great mix of visionary filming and naive charm. Very recommended.
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